Coronavirus Relief Information
The Coronavirus pandemic has hit Burlington and Ocean Counties hard. With many of our neighbors out of work or directly impacted by the virus itself, below are some resources to help you get through these tough times.
- **REMINDER** NJ announced it would begin providing 20-weeks of extended unemployment benefits to NJ workers who have exhausted their state and federal jobless benefits.
Constituents can dial 856-507-2340 to file a claim or follow up on their existing claim. If you’re having trouble getting through, please keep trying. Claims will be backdated while NJ works to improve the system and handle the unprecedented volume of claims.
There are hundreds of test sites – both public and private – open around the state. Many locations no longer require you to exhibit symptoms and are available at no cost. Click here to find a searchable database of test sites near you;
**REMINDER** Burlington County mobile testing sites are running on a regular basis: Locations, details and appointment information for August and September are available here.
**REMINDER** Click here to find a listing of test sites in NJ03;
Additional Assistance -
Info page for homeowners with questions regarding their rights under the mortgage forbearance agreements reached with private lenders here covid19.nj.gov/mortgage;
Info page for tenants and landlords here covid19.nj.gov/renter
Small Business Owners:
NEW SBA & Treasury are accepting PPP loan applications again;
Rep. Kim’s Small Business Resource Guide is available here (with federal, state and local resources included);
Contact usembassy.gov or call the 24-hour assistance center from the U.S. & Canada: 1-888-407-4747 or from Overseas: 1-202-501-4444;
US travelers abroad are strongly encouraged to enroll in the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) for emergency alerts at step.state.gov; and
Find up-to-date travel health notices at nc.cdc.gov/travel/notices.
New Jerseyans experiencing anxiety, mental health issues or who are worried about the mental health of someone they love can call 866-202-HELP (4357) for free, confidential support 7 days a week from 8am-8pm; If you’re caring for children or family members and feeling overwhelmed, anxious, isolated or in need of help, call:
Family Helpline: 1-800-843-5437
Children’s System of Care: 1-877-652-7624
Pending Check Payments and Payment Notices Statements:
Due to COVID-19 related IRS office closures, the IRS is continuing to work through a backlog of mail.As a result, some taxpayers who sent payments to the IRS may have not had their checks cashed, or when the IRS did cash their checks, the checks may have been canceled or dishonored. To provide fair and equitable treatment, the IRS is providing administrative relief from some bad check penalties (IRC 6657, Bad Checks) in certain circumstances due to delays in IRS processing. However, interest and other civil penalties may still apply.
Taxpayers whose checks were received by the IRS between March 1 and July 15 and processed more than 30 days from receipt will be given relief from the bad check penalties if the check is dishonored. Taxpayers who made check payments to the IRS and are still waiting for their checks to be cashed should continue to wait, should not cancel their checks, and should ensure funds are available to avoid penalties and interest.
The IRS is honoring check payments based on the dates they were received, regardless of when the agency processes them. As an example, if a taxpayer sent their payment in June, but the agency doesn’t process it until September, the June date is honored.
In addition, as the IRS resumes processing paper tax returns, the agency may process a taxpayer’s electronically filed tax return before any related mailed payment. If a taxpayer sent a check but still received a notice that they owe taxes, the check may still be in the mail backlog. The taxpayer should not cancel the check and should ensure funds continue to be available to avoid penalties and interest. If any questions remain, please go to IRS.gov.
Nearly 10 million Americans still have not received their Economic Impact Payment (EIP), many involving complex issues. The following situations have been identified by the IRS and automated solutions are being pursued.
- Injured spouse – Initial programming attempted to deliver half the EIP when an injured spouse claim was filed. The programming didn’t work as intended and the entire EIP was offset to past due child support.
- Income Tax Refunds for prisoners and decedents – The incarcerated and deceased are not eligible for an EIP. Bureau of Fiscal Services erroneously stopped tax return refunds for these individuals. At this time, no action is required of those in the above situations. More information will be provided when it becomes available. Additional resources, FAQs and tools are available on the Congressman’s website by clicking here.
** Stimulus Payment Update from IRS **
If your income is below $12,200, or $24,400 if you’re married, you probably don’t file a tax return. But, even if you aren’t normally required to file a tax return, you may still be eligible for a $1,200 per person Economic Impact Payment and $500 per qualifying child.
You must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or qualifying resident alien and have a work-eligible Social Security number. You can’t be claimed as someone else’s dependent.
You won’t owe taxes on the payment and it doesn’t affect eligibility for federal government assistance or benefits.
Register for a payment by using the IRS’s free Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here tool through October 15.
If you don’t have a bank to cash a check or receive a deposit, visit the FDIC website.
For more see the Economic Impact Payments: Partner and Promotional Materials page with the latest products to share with low-income/underserved constituents and the agencies and organizations that serve them in your district and state.
Certain Users of IRS Non-Filers tool to be Issued $500 per Qualifying Child in August
IRS will issue $500 per qualifying child to eligible individuals who used the Non-Filers tool before May 17, 2020 and claimed at least one qualifying child. These users did not receive the qualifying child portion of the Economic Impact Payment (EIP) because of an error that was corrected on May 17, 2020.
*** The IRS is working on a solution to reissue payments to widows and widowers who had their EIPs withheld due to a deceased spouse. ***
*** The IRS reopened the Non-Filers portal for those on federal benefits to claim the $500 per dependent payment on Aug 15. This applies to SSA beneficiaries and VA beneficiaries who DO NOT file tax returns. Other Non-Filers still have until October 15 to claim their EIP + $500 per dependent. ***
November Election Information:
Upcoming 2020 General Election information. As you may know, Governor Murphy recently signed an Executive Order related to the 2020 General Election. According to the Governor’s website:
- The order suspends the sending of sample ballots and requires that each county’s elections officials send VBM ballots with pre-paid postage to all active registered voters for the General Election;
- Every voter will have the option to either return their ballot through a secure drop box or turn in their ballot at a polling location on Election Day;
- The order extends the deadline to allow ballots being returned through the United States Postal Service (USPS) with a postmark on or before November 3rd to be counted as a valid ballot by the County Clerk, if received by 8:00 p.m. on November 10th. Ballots without a postmark that are received by the county boards of elections within 48 hours of the closing of polls on November 3rd shall be considered valid.
- The order requires a minimum of at least one polling place in each municipality and a minimum of 50 percent of polling places in each county to provide New Jersey voters with access to in-person voting opportunities, including accommodations for voters with disabilities.
- All public schools will close for in-person instruction on November 3rd to allow counties to use their buildings as polling locations, if necessary.
- Polling locations will be required to follow public health standards, including ensuring six feet of distance, requiring poll workers to wear face coverings and gloves, frequent sanitization of high-touch areas, and providing sanitization materials to all individuals at a polling place.
The full text of Executive Order 177 can be found here.
In addition, on August 28th Governor Murphy signed three bills passed by the NJ Legislature related to the 2020 General Election. Summaries of those bills from the Governor’s website are below:
- A4475/S2580 (Reynolds-Jackson, Benson, Caputo/Singleton, Sarlo, Beach) – Requires county boards of election to establish ballot drop boxes in each county at least 45 days before election; revises procedures concerning mail-in ballots for 2020 general election. The full text of A4475/S2580 is available here.
- A4276/S2598 (Zwicker, Benson, Conaway/Gopal, Sarlo, Gill) – Establishes "The Ballot Cure Act" to modify and establish various voting procedures. The full text of A4276/S2598 is available here.
- A4320/S2633 (Zwicker, Benson, Freiman/Gopal, Sarlo) – Extends ballot receipt and election certification deadlines; increases certain messenger and bearer ballot limits; requires certain information to increase public awareness and use of voting by mail. The full text of A4320/S2633 is available here.
Voters can check the status of their vote by mail ballot here: https://voter.svrs.nj.gov/auth/sign-in.
You can also register to vote online. To register to vote online, you can follow the link here: https://voter.svrs.nj.gov/register.